"The goals of the Fujisawa Sustainable Smart Town is to create a sustainable town where making the most of the blessings of nature and promoting local production for local consumption. Moreover, we aim to realize a safe, peaceful life for residents by linking and using electricity and information networks. We need to create practical measures to achieve these goals," reads the front page of Panasonic's low-down on their groundbreaking support of Fujisawa - a city designed to be fully supportive of the environment.
Labeled as "solution works", this city is being marketed as a Sustainable Smart Town (SST), with its opening passing in November 2014.
Supporting the core facility named SST SQUARE, Panasonic have given considerable input into ensuring this center serves as the central communication base for the town and see's it play a "pivotal role in promoting the town's growth through its functions of managing the town, welcoming guests and fostering community". The square houses Fujisawa's SST Management Company and its partners - these bodies manage the town essentials such as energy, security, mobility, healthcare and community.
On its flight from Indonesia to Singapore, an Air Asia flight has gone missing according to the National Agency Search and Rescue Republic of Indonesia. Air Asia has confirmed that flight QZ8501 is indeed missing, with 162 people on board. The airline lost contact with the plane at 6:17pm local time near Indonesia.
Air Asia has since released a statement saying "AirAsia Indonesia regrets to confirm that flight QZ8501 from Surabaya to Singapore has lost contact with air traffic control at 07:24hrs this morning. At this time, search and rescue operations are in progress and AirAsia is cooperating fully and assisting the rescue service. AirAsia has established an Emergency Call Centre that is available for family or friends of those who may have been on board the aircraft. The number is +622129850801. AirAsia will release further information as soon as it becomes available. Updated information will also be posted on the AirAsia website, http://www.airasia.com."
Audi is willing to invest $29 billion over the next five years to help increase production, research and develop new connected car technologies, all the while trying to chase down BMW as the premiere German auto maker. Audi is No. 2 in global sales, and wants to expand its vehicle lineup from 50 up to 60 by 2020, the company publicly noted.
"We are making huge investments in the pioneering regions of electric mobility, connectivity and lightweight development," said Rupert Stadler, Audi CEO, in a press statement.
As connected technology, electric engines and autonomous vehicle research continues, Tesla, BMW, Audi, Mercedes-Benz and other luxury car manufacturers are expected to lead the way.
In what must be a public relations nightmare for the government in Pyongyang, a growing number of North Koreans are not only aware of Sony Pictures' "The Interview" - but want to view the movie. The North Korean State Security Department and The Ministry of People's Security collaborated in a meeting to try to limit how the movie is able to enter the country.
There are reports of North Korean citizens interested in paying upwards of $50 for a copy of "The Interview," a significantly higher price than other movies available on the black market. North Korean officials have increased border security, and have instructed handlers of black market materials to avoid US material.
"Think of the movie as Chernobyl for the digital age," wrote Rich Klein, from the McLarty Associates advisory firm, in a Washington Post statement. "Just as the nuclear catastrophe in the Soviet Union and the dangerously clumsy efforts to hide it exposed the Kremlin's leadership as inept and morally bankrupt, overseeing a superpower rusting from the inside, so does 'The Interview' risk eroding the myths, fabrications and bluster that keep the Kim dynasty in power."
Are you able to log onto Microsoft's Xbox Live service? Days after being dropped by the Lizard Squad on Christmas morning, it appears problems are surfacing again. On Saturday afternoon, the Microsoft service website saying Xbox Live is down once again, with Xbox One and Xbox 360 gamers confirming the news.
Although the Xbox Live Status website reports the core services, purchase and content usage, website, TV music and video, and social gaming aspects are reported to be working again - many users are reporting they are unable to game and access content.
Multiplayer titles such as Destiny and Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare require active Internet service, but titles such as Far Cry 4 and Dragon Age: Inquisition - which are largely played in single-player - still access third-party server connections.
The US Navy tested the MQ-8C Fire Scout unmanned helicopter drone during sea trials, with 32 successful takeoffs and landings earlier this week. A heavily modified Bell 407 utility helicopter can be controlled by command teams on military ships or ground-based teams.
"The MQ-8C Fire Scout's fist flight from the USS Dunham represents a significant Navy milestone," said Capt. Jeff Dodge, Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) Fire Scout program manager, in a press statement. "This is the first sea-based flight of the MQ-8C, and the first time an unmanned helicopter has operated from a destroyer."
The Navy and Northrop Grumman will continue to conduct tests to see how the helicopter drone operates in varying weather and wind conditions.
Apparently, the North Korean government isn't happy with the Obama Administration and Sony's decision to release "The Interview." The North Korean National Defense Commission (NDC) released a statement that accuses the US of crippling its Internet - which has happened twice in less than one week - while also lobbing a racial slur towards Obama.
"Obama always goes reckless in words and deeds like a monkey in a tropical forest," said someone from the North Korean Policy Department, in a statement published by the Korean Central News Agency.
Once Sony Pictures reversed its decision to release "The Interview," it seemed likely the North Korean government would issue public statements. Furthermore, this isn't the first time North Korea has issued racially-driven statements aimed towards Obama, though this appears to be nothing more than political posturing.
For the second time in less than one week, it appears the fragile North Korean Internet infrastructure has been dropped offline from cyberattacks. Reports from Chinese media indicate the Internet and 3G mobile phone networks in North Korea have gone offline, following the US government's accusations that Pyongyang had a direct hand in breaching Sony Pictures.
In the incident reported earlier in the week, it appears a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack stopped Internet access for a brief period. Most Internet access in North Korea is reserved for high-ranking government officials and military personnel, reports indicate.
Despite countries focusing on developing cyberespionage weapons able to target foreign companies and governments, clearly not enough is being done to help improve cybersecurity. The United States, UK, North Korea, China, Russia, Iran, and other nations have greater cyberattack capabilities - but fall prey to their own data incidents on a frequent basis.
Microsoft's Xbox Live and Sony's PlayStation Network are clawing their way back to full functionality, a couple of days after crippling distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks by the Lizard Squad hacking group.
The Xbox Live service, which has almost 50 million global users, was working significantly better by Friday evening - but the PlayStation Network, supporting almost 110 million users, still had significant problems, preventing users from logging on.
In a tweet issued Saturday morning, Sony had this to say: "Update: PS4, PS3, and Vita network services are gradually coming back online - thanks for your patience." A follow-up statement noted: "We are seeing reduced reports of network issues. We'll continue to monitor."
The malware software and cybercriminal techniques used to cripple Sony Pictures could be used in additional attacks against US companies, according to a recent alert from the U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT). Specifically, the malware, which is similar to code used to target South Korean companies, is able to communicate with operators while spreading quickly and conducting brute-force password attacks against systems.
"Due to the highly destructive functionality of this malware, an organization infected could experience operational impacts including loss of intellectual property and disruption of critical systems," the US-CERT warning stated. It's true that next-generation malware, written by increasingly skilled cybercriminal groups, has a wide variety of different purposes. Although stealing and compromising infected PCs remains lucrative, cyberespionage would be better served by disrupting day-to-day operations of necessary systems.
North Korea has been blamed by the US government for the attack against Sony Pictures, a charge it vehemently denies - has dedicated resources to improving its cyberattack capabilities.